Don't let the size fool you....
Don't let the size fool you. Even with its small frame and engine, we were able to ride the Raptor 125 like a full-size machine.
Every day I can look into the ATVR email inbox or go to the forums on
and find someone who is having problems with their discount ATV. By "discount ATV" I mean the ones advertised at your major chain auto parts stores and club warehouse stores or even sold off of a trailer on a street corner near you. Sure, these machines seem like a steal, but in the long run they turn into a major headache because of their poor quality and lack of product support once you leave wherever you purchased them from. The only "warranties" people get with these seem to be "50/50," meaning 50 feet or 50 seconds from purchase and that is it. Machines like these are what turn people off from the sport of ATV riding because they now have a bad taste in their mouths about the quality of ATVs.
But what's a guy to do? Many of these consumers are just being introduced into the motorsports market and want an inexpensive machine that offers sporty looks and true performance at a decent price. This is where Yamaha comes into the picture with the debut of its new entry-level sport ATV, the Raptor 125.
The people at the blue powerhouse have employees dedicated to researching the latest trends in the ATV market and paid great attention to the demands for a quality starter ATV. To give the public what they felt is the best machine to put their hard-earned money toward, the engineers at Yamaha decided to begin with the chassis setup from the hugely popular Raptor 250. While the chassis is compact and a perfect size for younger riders, many adults can easily throw a leg over it and still feel comfortable. Utilizing the same setup for the Raptor 125 seemed to be the most logical choice considering the target consumer. Subtle changes to the handlebar, controls and seat from the Raptor 250 specifically accommodate younger riders age 16 and up since this was designed as a starter machine.
Not only is the chassis capable of accommodating riders of various sizes, but it also features a proven suspension package that makes it handle like a true sport ATV. This is done through the dual A-arm setup in the front that offers 7.5 inches of travel and 7.9 inches at the rear swingarm. To ensure maximum traction is achieved and that riders can take full advantage of the handling capabilities, the Raptor 125 is outfitted with low-profile 18-inch rear and 19-inch front Maxxis tires. To ensure riders can stop no matter how hard or easy they ride the 125, Yamaha has outfitted it with triple hydraulic disc brakes that supply consistent stopping power in any conditions.
Since we've gone over the suspension and chassis of the Raptor 125, it's time to discuss the powerplant in this little monster. The air-cooled, two-valve, SOHC, 124cc engine is based off of Yamaha's proven TT-R125 and features a single-axis counterbalancer to reduce vibration at crucial points for an enjoyable ride. The 29mm Mikuni carburetor was chosen to provide excellent fuel delivery and throttle response across the board, but another advantage of the carburetor is a very light throttle pull for rider comfort. A DC-CDI ignition system designed specifically for the Raptor 125 engine also helps to maximize power output, and a three-chamber muffler similar to that of the Raptor 250 is light, quiet and proven to boost low-end power. To get the power from the piston to the rear wheels, a five-speed gearbox with manual clutch gives the flexibility to attack any terrain. This combination of components makes for a solid package that will suit the needs of riders who are just starting in the sport while remaining strong enough for when they gain more experience.